Quercus rubra

One of the most important oaks for timber, furniture, flooring, veneer and firewood production. Native to most regions of the US near and east of the Mississippi River, excluding the deep South.

  • Culture
  • Concerns
  • Management
Culture for Northern Red Oak

Prefers fertile, well-drained, moist soils, but is adaptable to dry to medium moisture. Can tolerate urban conditions, but will not perform well in alkaline (high) soil pH. Roots can interfere with sidewalks and other infrastructure.

Concerns about Northern Red Oak

Boring insects can attack weakened or stressed trees. Defoliating caterpillars like winter moth, canker worm and gypsy moth can cause defoliation. Multiple years of defoliation can cause stress. Bacterial leaf scorch can infect in areas of the East and Midwest. Open-grown trees need structural pruning to develop a central leader or multiple branches may arise from the same spot on the trunk.

Management Practices for Northern Red Oak

Frequent structural pruning is necessary to obtain a central leader and proper lateral branch development. Ensure proper pruning cuts are made so pruning wounds close rapidly to prevent extensive decay. Avoid wounding the stem. Micronutrient applications may be necessary to green up the foliage until soil pH can be modified. Preventative applications for borers and/or caterpillars may be necessary.

Photos related to Northern Red Oak

Northern Red Oak Image 1

Red OAK with poor structure and iron deficiency

Northern Red Oak Image 2

Red oak leaves with iron nutrient deficiency (scorching between veins)

Northern Red Oak Image 3

Lecanium scale on red oak

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